Born London, 1978
My work is really an extended conversation of deciding what kind of a painter I want to be. In this post-post modern world every direction and decision seems to have become permissible and there is a complete freedom. The recurring question for me then, is where do I draw the line in order to construct an artistic identity? I use my work as a sort of therapy to re-construct and observe my own patterns of preoccupation. The act of painting is a sort of physical performance. Each new image is a development from and a reaction against the last image.
I am interested in working with the physical material of paint and the many, many ways one can manipulate this basic ‘stuff’. I am predominantly a figurative painter in that ‘who am I/who and what are we?’ am the main subjects of my work. I have taken the decision not to work from photographs but instead either from direct observation of my own reality, be that my immediate external or internal environment.
Creativity is a compulsion: a need to connect and share and jump up and down and raise a smile. I am not sure it is altogether healthy. Sometimes I think my pictures are only monuments to periods of self-enforced isolation and loneliness, when really I should be getting outside more and just talk to people. That’s why I let my pictures get some fresh air by exhibiting them rather than just hiding them away in my studio.
I am searching for a certain crudeness or awkwardness in my work. I like to organise problems into my painting and to leave a sense that they are slightly unresolved. From this I hope the viewer can find a way in to the picture and not feel the image is hermetically sealed from dialogue. I am not so much interested in telling a story as hoping the viewer finds their own narrative perspective. I have to be cautious in my titles.
My paintings are surrogates for my own insecurities and inadequacies. They are not great, but they try to be true. I try to take the risks in them that I don't in my everyday life. Unlike me, they prefer to get things wrong than be damned with faint praise. Searching for the grit in the pearl.